• Kyodo

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Two polar bears at Asahiyama Zoo here got a surprise present Saturday to help them beat the summer heat — 40 tons of snow preserved by an environmental group.

The nongovernment group in Bibai, central Hokkaido, has launched campaigns to preserve snow and utilize it for air conditioning during summer.

The two bears licked the snow and buried their heads in it.

They also hunted for apples that had been buried in the snow by zoo staff.

The event drew a large crowd.

Daily highs in Asahikawa have exceeded 30 degrees for six days in a row.

“They were looking for apples very hard. I envy them because they look so cool on such a hot day,” said Hiroshi Kawashima, 22, a college student from Hyogo Prefecture.

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